Hybrid Car Insurance: A Look at the Pros and the (Surprising) Cons
Whether you bought a hybrid vehicle to help protect the environment, get a tax incentive, or simply end the constant nagging from your environmentally conscious friends for you to do so, you now need quality hybrid car insurance to protect your investment. This article will try to boil down critical hybrid auto insurance issues and suggest an evergreen resource to help you collect and analyze quotes for hybrid car insurance.
Hybrid Cars -- What Sets Them Apart?
A hybrid car is essentially an "eco-friendly" automobile that burns less fuel per mile traveled. How does a hybrid vehicle work? Essentially, the car employs a built-in rechargeable energy storage system (RESS) and a fuel propulsion power source. Most commonly, hybrids are petroleum electric hybrid vehicles. They use gasoline or diesel to power an internal combustion engine as well as electric batteries to power electric motors.
Different hybrid cars recharge their batteries in different ways. Some capture kinetic energy via "regenerative braking," while others run on hydrogen gas. Although hybrids were relatively rare at the turn of the century, today, major automakers like Ford, GM, Mazda, Lexus, Toyota, Honda and Renault all manufacture many models of hybrids.
Hybrid Car Insurance Advantages
Many car insurance companies will provide a 10% discount for hybrid owners right off the bat. Why? First of all, hybrid owners on average tend to be responsible, mature drivers who will be less likely to get into car accidents -- and therefore will be less likely to file claims. These kind of drivers wind up in the "preferred insurance category," which means that they can get lower rates. In fact, surveys suggest that hybrid car owners are typically married men and women between the ages of 41 and 60 who are financially stable and responsible.
Some car industry analysts predict that hybrids will comprise nearly 15% of all US vehicles on the roads by the end of the decade. As the popularity of these vehicles soar, the implications for hybrid car insurance will almost certainly dynamically shift.
Hybrid Car Insurance Concerns
Just because you opt for a hybrid car doesn't necessarily mean that you will get a great rate on your insurance -- or even any kind of discount at all. Insurers look at dozens of factors. Your driving record matters (whether you get into accidents, make claims or get traffic citations). Your experience on the road matters -- more experienced drivers get lower rates. Your loyalty to your hybrid car insurance company matters. Carriers tend to reward loyal customers with discounts. Even the mechanism by which you pay matters. For instance, if you pay via electronic funds transfer (EFT), you can save $6 a month on your hybrid auto insurance over what you might pay if you do standard paper billing.
The point is, myriad dynamic factors can influence your hybrid auto insurance rates, so talk to an insurance agent about how to tailor your coverage for maximum impact, and schedule a reminder to review your policies, so that your insurance budget stays as efficient and lean as possible.
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